Bring on Manchester United
Revenge is most definitely on my mind this Wednesday night when Newcastle United travel to face Manchester United.
Getting to the League Cup Final last season was phenomenal. Our first trip to the new Wembley, our first major cup final in over twenty years and a great weekend in London, apart from the result that is.
This will be the fifth time we’ve faced Manchester United in the League Cup. Three defeats and a solitary win is our record so far, which let’s face it isn’t great.
In October 1976, after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United’s city rivals in the League Cup Final earlier in the year, Newcastle United travelled to Old Trafford for a League Cup fourth round tie. There were three changes form the side who had lost narrowly to Manchester City, the most notable being Malcolm Macdonald who had left us for Arsenal in the summer for £333,333.
After going two goals behind after only thirteen minutes, Newcastle got a foothold in the game when Irving Nattrass pulled one back in the seventeenth minute. Manchester United extended their lead in the thirty-fifth minute and we went in at the interval trailing by three goals to one.
In the first ten minutes of the second half, Newcastle conceded another three goals and the game was over. It got worse, Manchester United scoring their seventh in the sixty seventh minute before Micky Burns grabbed a consolation goal ten minutes from the end.
This was before I was a regular attendee at Newcastle home and away games, but I can distinctly recall that the final score that evening gave birth to a song that incorporated the words, “We hate Man U, ‘cos they beat us 7-2”.
I’m sure Mag readers of a certain vintage will wince at me recalling this particular encounter but I am 100% convinced that we will go to Old Trafford this time and progress to the quarter finals. Manchester United have just lost to Manchester City at Old Trafford in the derby and although the final scoreline was 0-3, it surely flattered the home side.
It shouldn’t surprise any of us when ill-informed football fans have a go at our spending, especially when you think about transfer comings and goings at other clubs. A cursory glance at the money Ten Hag has wasted since being installed as Manchester United manager is quite staggering. In the summer, they parted with (figures via Transfermarkt) €75 million to sign Rasmus Hojlund, €64 million for Mason Mount and €50 million for Andre Onana, none of whom have set the heather alight, although after some calamitous errors, the keeper they bought from Inter Milan at least kept the scoreline in the derby from turning into an even bigger embarrassment. The year before, they parted company with €95 million to acquire Anthony from Ajax, which is an outrageous sum considering how ineffective the Brazilian winger is.
I don’t expect our big money signings to feature on Wednesday – Alexander Isak, Sven Botman and Harvey Barnes are all injured, whilst Tonali, well, you know. It’s quite possible that Anthony Gordon and Tino Livramento will start and Bruno Guimaraes could come off the bench like he did against Manchester City in the previous round.
Despite the NUFC squad being ravaged with injuries and some of our regular first teamers needing a break, Manchester United are a club in disarray and whilst our record at their place is very poor, a win there on Wednesday is entirely possible.
The Manchester City fans gleefully sang that Old Trafford is falling down, Ten Hag is a clown and the Glazers are staying for ten more years, as they quite literally played their neighbours off the park.
I think we can do the same.
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